In order to build a winning football team, you must start in the trenches. One of the Arena Football League’s newest teams, the Washington Valor, are starting to follow that formula after their latest signings. The Valor signed offensive linemen Dionte Savage and James Atoe, according to the team’s official website.
Savage is entering his second season in the AFL. He spent last season with the ArenaBowl runner-up Arizona Rattlers, who moved to the Indoor Football League after the 2016 season ended. Savage earned an honorable mention All-Big XII when he was a senior at Oklahoma. Before transferring to Oklahoma for his final two seasons, he played college football at Arizona Western.
He earned Second Team All-America honors while he was at Arizona Western. Before joining the Rattlers, he spent training camp with the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins of the NFL.
Atoe will be entering his rookie season in the AFL. He attended college at Washington, where he started every game as a senior. He has also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL.
He also played for Team USA at the IFAF World Championship. Atoe hasn’t played in the AFL yet, but he does have other indoor football experience. He’s played in the IFL, where he earned Second Team All-IFL honors.
“Both of these players are very talented young offensive lineman which is vital to our growth up front,” head coach Dean Cokinos said. “We are very excited to have these two young men join the Valor.” Washington will open its inaugural season against the Baltimore-based team on April 7.